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One Island or Two???

South Australia
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272 posts
26 reviews
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One Island or Two???

Hi everyone,

We are looking at spending 10 nights in Samoa in September and are trying to work out whether to spend the entire time in Upolo or spend a few nights on Savaii.

We are a family of 4, two young girls aged 9 and 7 and we love snorkelling. Give us a nice beach and somewhere clean and comfortable on a nice beach and we're happy.

At this stage we are thinking of staying at Sa Moana Resort which looks lovely.

We are undecided whether to spend the whole time at Sa Moana or whether to split the time and spend some at Le Lagoto on Savaii.

I must admit I have a bit of a phobia when it comes to ferries and I think I'm leaning towards spending all our time on Upolo to avoid the ferry trip, but I'm wondering if we are crazy coming to Samoa and missing out on Savaii?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

cheers, Kate

Woolgoolga...
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for Apia, Samoa
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1. Re: One Island or Two???

Malo lava Kate

You've chosen a great place to spend 10 days and your accommodation choices are excellent. If this is a once in a lifetime trip then I think you would be best visiting both islands. Sa'moana is a lovely resort in a beautiful tropical setting and Le Lagoto is in the village of Fagamalo, not far from Manase Beach where most of the fale properties are located. It is also next to the wonderful Savaii Lagoon Resort which is one of my favourites, so if you want to do a bit of resort hopping for a change of menu and scenery then you're in a great place.

As for the ferry, do you actually get sea sick or have a real phobia about travelling on them? Also, how are the kids travelling by boat. You can get some excellent seasickness medication nowdays. Usually if you get one of the big ferries you should be fine, if it's the little one it might pose some problems. When you've set some dates go to the Samoa Shipping Corporation site and look for times when either Lady Samoa II or III run, they are the big ferries.

When are you planning on going? The plane service from Upolu to Savaii may be reinstated. They keep axing it and putting it back on so with a bit of luck that may be another option for you. You can check with the Fagali'i Airport site and see if they have started the service again.

Even though they are only 10kms apart there are vast differences between Upolu and Savaii, not just the landscape (both are stunningly beautiful but Savaii is more rugged) but the culture as well. Savaii keeps to a very much more traditional Samoan lifestyle so it's very interesting getting to know the people. I really do encourage you to go to both islands if you can get over te ferry phobia.

I hope this helps Kate, any more questions please ask. In the meantime happy planning and know that you are going to an amazing country.

Manuia le aso

Deb

South Australia
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272 posts
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2. Re: One Island or Two???

Thanks so much for your help Deb, that's all fantastic information. None of us get sea sick, its just more a fear thing, we've done a couple of rough boat trips and the older I get the more it bothers me! I think we will be fine, if we can time it like you suggested and make sure we are on the big ferries. Do the big ferries run every day? I'm thinking we could just make our plans around the times for the bigger ferries.

We are hoping to go in the beginning of September. I also looked at Savaii Lagoon Resort which looked lovely but really Le Lagoto really appeals to me, looks gorgeous and although its more expensive if we stay 5 nights we get one free which brings the price down.

We tend to not go back to the same place twice so I think you are right and it sounds like it would be a shame to miss out on Savaii.

Thanks so much for your help, cheers Kate

BC, Canada
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3. Re: One Island or Two???

I'd agree with Deb and go to both islands as well. Sa Moana is great - amazing infinity pool, really nice accommodations and food. The snorkeling beach isn't big and it can get a bit rough as the tide comes in for younger swimmers.

Snorkeling in front of Le Lagoto is much calmer and there's more shallow water, and Manase Beach 5 mins down the road is a huge, long stretch of beautiful beach with great snorkeling as well.

If you want less expensive than Le Lagoto you could try the beach villas at Stevenson's, right on Manase beach. They have 2 queen beds, sofas, AC, indoor toilets and an outdoor private shower in a little stone-walled yard, very roomy. They have a small deck out front, directly on the beach. They also have some funky, kind of weird hotel rooms on the beach with funny names, as well as beachfront fales - these aren't what I'm suggesting, it's the 5 villas that are beachfront. Reviews have been mixed and it's been a year since we were there but you may want to have a look. PM if you want photos. Have a great time.

Woolgoolga...
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for Apia, Samoa
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4. Re: One Island or Two???

You're welcome Kate

The big ferries do run everyday although services are very limited on the weekend and public holidays. If you are taking a car over you need to book it and yourselves on at least 72 hours in advance, if not just turn up about an hour beforehand to avoid struggling to get a good seat. The ferries are quite comfortable so once you're on that should take away a but of your fear but I do agree that you should try and base you holiday around them, the small ferry normally runs early in the morning and then around 4pm in the arvo. Timetables change regularly so as it gets closer to the time you are going keep checking back with the site and even contact them to make sure the timetable is correct.

Hopefully Samoa might be the exception when it comes to not going back to a country twice, it's a truly beautiful place and like Tina, having travelled a lot, it speaks heaps about us wanting to revisit Samoa and call it our 2nd home.

Happy planning

Manuia le aso

Deb

South Australia
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272 posts
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5. Re: One Island or Two???

Thanks for all the info, I now have another question that I hope you can advise me on! After doing some fine budgeting we are now thinking of changing the accommodation on Upolo to save some money. As we arrive at midnight and have two young girls thought we might stay first night at Aggie Greys Resort because its so close to the airport. We were then thinking of staying at Litia Sini Beach Resort instead of Sa Moana. We havent ever stayed anywhere before with shared facilities but the beach and fales look lovely and this will cut the cost down alot, meaning we can stay longer.

Any advice or tips would be fantastic.

Thanks again for your help, cheers Kate

Woolgoolga...
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for Apia, Samoa
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6. Re: One Island or Two???

Malo lava Kate

You can go straight from the airport to Litia Sini if you wanted either via taxi or they have a pick up service. I'd be very wary about booking Aggies in September as I hear there's another Survivor series coming and Sept is when it's normally held so it could totally stuff up your plans. If you didn't want to travel at that time of night then have a look at Le Vasa it's just another 5 or so mins away, or Airport Lodge which is cheaper and quite adequate if you just need a place to rest your weary heads before really starting your holiday..

Aside from Litia Sini have a look at Taufua Beach Fales on Upolu as well. I'm sure you'll love both, Lalomanu Beach is one of the most beautiful in the world. You also get Breakky and Dinner thrown in so that cuts down on costs as well.

One Savaii check out Tanu's Fales, Janes Fales, Regina's and Vacations all at Manase Beach, Lauiula Fales at Lano and Va-i-moana Seaside Lodge. Try Vaisala Hotel as well, rundown but really charming hotel with amazing and reasonably priced food. They have ensuites and hot water (which you won't get in other budget accom), air con, balconies and a beautful little beach.

I'm not keen on sharing facilities either but you do get used to it and they are never generally overcrowded. As I said before, there is only cold water at all fale accom but the shock wears off when you realise how much it's cooling you down. They are also very clean.

Hope this helps

Manuia le aso

Deb

7. Re: One Island or Two???

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kurrajong
Destination Expert
for Samoa
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8. Re: One Island or Two???

hi Kate

you can go straight to the accomodation either samoana or litia sini even if you arrive late at night, another place we stayed which is near the airport is levasa resort ( they have 2 cheaper rooms , but you still have full access the to beautiful resort, rooms have comfy beds and aircon and ensuite! really good value for $280 tala ! with breaky and we got airport transfers as well, they were so lovely here. food was great and even though the bach isnt good they have a wonderful pool!

You could you spend a few nights at SaMoana and then a few at litia sinis's (both great but differnt choices in accomodation)

I agree with deb & tina go to savaii ( the one time we didnt i really regreted not going) savaii is a beautiful island ( they both are!!)

and as deb adn tina said the beach at Lelagoto or savaii lagoon ( on the same beach lagoon, is incredible) wonderful safe snorklelling its just stunning!!

Re the ferry, try and book the big one its more comfortable then the little one for sure. trust us its worth the hour ( or just over!) on the ferry!!

sue

South Australia
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272 posts
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9. Re: One Island or Two???

Thanks for your help, I am going to contact La Vasa. It looks really nice but I did think no children over 10? so that may be an issue. Another place I've emailed is Le Manumea Hotel about staying there the first night, I figured its closer to the airport than Litia Sini. I really don't want to do a 2 hour drive when we arrive at midnight, I imagine our girls will be exhausted and we will want to stay somewhere close.

We are pretty much decided on Litia Sini and Le Lagoto, with somewhere for the first and last night closer to the airport and we will definitely work our plans around the big ferry.

Thanks so much for your advice, any other tips would be greatly appreciated.

cheers, Kate

Woolgoolga...
Destination Expert
for Apia, Samoa
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3,810 posts
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10. Re: One Island or Two???

Malo lava Kate

Le Manumea is great and if you wanted to do the markets etc in Apia you're only 10 mins out of town. They also have a shuttle service from the airport so no haggling with a taxi driver. The trip from Faleolo Aiporrt to Apia is around 45 mins so the girls might drop off on the ride anyway.

Think about Le Vasa for your last night after Le Lagoto but if you just want somewhere to lay your heads before the flight then consider Airport Lodge as well. It's mid range accommodation but very comfortable, great food, large bathrooms with hot water and air con.

Manuia le aso

Deb